Monday, March 5, 2012

The Kosher Cheese Wars

Life was meant to be cheesy writes:
I regularly receive the emails of 2 popular community lists - Emmanuel and SBA. I enjoy reading the Mazel-Tovs and especially appreciate the communal notices and advertisements which are of specific interest to most of Melbourne's observant families. So thanks and keep it up chaps.

So what's up?

I noticed yesterday that one (or maybe both) of those lists had the following notice:
108 sliced cheese - for $21.99! That's a HUGE difference to the mid -to-high $30s we've been paying for similar Haolam sliced cheese for years. Despite the fact that in the past few years our dollar has surged in value going from just under 50 cents to the US$ to almost $1.10. But have we seen any significant drop in prices? Not that I have noticed. And this refers to most other Kosher products (though we noticed a few great specials put out by Coles and Safeway prior to Rosh Hashono). A quick browse on the net shows that the same Haolam 108 slices are available in Kosher supermarkets in the NY  for less than half the price we are forced to pay here.

So thank you to whoever is behind this new cheese importing venture - !כה לחי . Melbourne (and presumably Sydney) Kosher consumers wish you much הצלחה and look forward to support you as you increase the variety of your products. Hopefully, not only will your prices remain fair and reasonable, but you competitors will emulate your actions.

And thanks also to another new local entrepreneur for dramatically lowering prices of his imported Paskesz lines. (Also advertised by SBA and Emmanuel.)

Maybe this Pesach families will not have to go into debt in order to keep their kiddies tummies full.


  1. I bought a pack at Kraus today. Excellent taste and great value.
    On eof teh employees whispered that the haolam rep is promising to drop prices very shortly. he'll have to if he wishes to stay in the market

  2. To see comparable prices in the US click here;

    Remember, our dollar is worth around 7% more than theirs.

  3. check out kosher grocery prices in NY

    you'll wanna weep!

  4. Unfortunately we've clearly been getting ripped-off for years, either by the importers or the retailers. We're paying the same for imported groceries now as we were when the AUD was only worth USD0.50 . With the AUD above parity now, we should be paying 50% less. Someone's making a very nice living out of us Kosher consumers.

  5. well written cheesy!
    But it is not only foods that we have such vast price differentials.

    What about Jewish books and seforim?

    These days there are no secrets left/ You can always go online and see what a particular volume costs in Israel or USA. Doesn't it irk you when you see artscroll and feldheim publications30-40 and even 50% lower than here?

    So while handing out 'oscars' to the new kosher food importers, we should also thank the new Hadar bookstore for a return to fair prices in Judaica. Same to Chai in Glen Eira - who could improve if theyr increased their variety.
    The price of Artscroll shas has come down a fair bit here and hopefully in the future we will see prices close to that available in the US.

    Thanks to all the new entrepreneurs. We need more of you around.

  6. B'H
    I just cannot resist a post about the wonderful goat's cheese products available at Amalya's cafe on the corner of Kooyong and Glenhuntley Roads.
    Apart from being superb cheese and milk, it is ORganic!!!!
    I now have back the use of my hands almost pain free. I was resigning myself to having gnarled fingers like my grandmother and others in my family who suffer from genetic arthritis. For the past two months I have cut out all cow's milk products. I do not want to be derogatory about any plastic bright yellow or orange slices mascarading as 'cheese' from the states, but I do want to plug Aussie KOSHER and Organic is best!! Taste and health wise, you will not look back. This is not an ad.

  7. Time has come for someone to get thier act together and open a cost shop, the likes found in Jerusalem, London and NY, all under one roof,a little out of the area to make its rent affordable, baker, butcher, dairy and groceries all in one, mostly imported and efficient labor like Aldi or the like.please can somebody with enough influence do something and get things rolling

  8. I thank Mr Cheesy for his article here (and Ajnwatch for hosting it.)
    Like everyone else I too appreciate the new lower prices.

    But what we must not forget in the excitement is that the established importers and shops have huge overhead costs which these smaller "backyard" importers do not have.
    Let's see what happens, if they succeed and in this business, if they can continue to offer such great prices.

    Similarly Hadar bookstore. If they will not raise their prices - and still make a profit, then - great!

    Let's wait and see (and yes, meanwhile buy up as many bargains as we can.)

  9. Sounds very sad : "Maybe this Pesach families will not have to go into debt in order to keep their kiddies tummies full" - with biscuits, haribo, sour sticks, potato chips, flutes and lollies.

    Maybe try some fruit and veg.

    1. B'H
      I have got to agree with the above comment strongly. Health that is mind and body can be improved by fruit, meat and fresh dairy. We do not need all the chips and nash.
      Nothing better than a freshly made vegie soup blended. Good for mind and body.

  10. Hey, Sensible thinker: Are you proposing that the established importers and shops had their "huge overheads" increase by 50% at the exact same time as the cost of their products from overseas halved with the AUD reaching USD parity???? Really???

    The only thing that did increase was chutpah. They saw an opportunity to increase profits by 50% at our expense, and they went for it.


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